CCAC earns renewed accreditation of Early Education & Childhood Development program

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County is pleased to announce that the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education programs has renewed the accreditation of CCAC’s Early Education & Childhood Development Associate of Science Degree program. The college is one of eight institutions in the country that received renewed accreditation this year.

“We are very pleased and proud to have earned reaccreditation of our program,” said Dr. Melanie Yeschenko, Early Education & Child Development professor and program coordinator at CCAC. “NAEYC accreditation holds us to a higher standard that we take very seriously—when you’re following a quality standard, you’re putting out an effective program that graduates the best trained early childhood teachers.”

Early childhood professional preparation programs serve a wide range of students and prepare early childhood educators for a variety of early learning settings. Accreditation serves as a mechanism for ensuring a consistent and high level of program quality and alignment to the NAEYC Initial and Advanced Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs while respecting the unique mission and context of each degree program.

“NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs is a hallmark of quality assurance for the early childhood preparation profession,” said Mary Harrill, Senior Director of Higher Education at NAEYC. “We congratulate all of the programs that have recently achieved accreditation. Their dedication, through the accreditation process, to program improvement, to the students they serve, and to the early learning settings in which their graduates will work is to be commended.”

The reaccreditation process was a year-long collaborative effort that involved professors Yeschenko at CCAC South Campus, Cynthia Syskowski at CCAC North Campus, Dr. Stephanie Goloway at CCAC Allegheny Campus and Gilbert Cardenas at CCAC Boyce Campus, as well as many ECD adjunct faculty members. Students were also highly involved in the three-day site visit by the NAEYC team in April, for which the students provided coursework and portfolios as evidence of their learning and growth. They also made sure the classrooms and labs were completely ready, showing the pride they take in their program, said Yeschenko.

To earn and retain accreditation, professional preparation programs must demonstrate that they:

·         Align to NAEYC’s Professional Preparation Standards;

·         Respond to the unique needs of their degree candidates and communities;

·         Provide intentional learning experiences for their degree candidates to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to be effective early childhood educators; and,

·         Continuously assess and reflect on their degree candidates’ performance.

 

CCAC’s current accreditation will expire in seven years. The program will continue to complete annual reports in September 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024, with the next reaccreditation process beginning in September 2025.

For more information about CCAC’s Early Education and Childhood Development Associate of Science Degree program, visit ccac.edu.

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